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In This Issue:

Washington Update

REMSA Innovation Award

REMSA Member of the Month

REMSA Grassroots Program

Member & Industry News

NRC-REMSA 2023 Exhibition

In Memoriam: Ron McDaniel

Upcoming Industry Events

AREMA 2022 Annual Conference & Expo

August 28-31, 2022


September 20-23, 2022

NRC Conference and NRC-REMSA Exhibition

January 4-7, 2023

Railway Interchange

October 1-4, 2023

Washington Update

Capitol Hill

The week of July 18, the House of Representatives are voting on and will likely pass a “minibus” bill. The minibus package contains 6 (of the 12) appropriations bills including the Agriculture, Energy-Water, Transportation-HUD, Interior-Environment, Financial Services, and Military Construction-VA spending measures. The vote the week of July 18 follows the June 30 House Appropriations Committee markup of the 2023 THUD spending bill. The bill passed by a full committee vote of 32-24 along party lines.

On June 30, REMSA signed on to a letter to the White House on establishing a Presidential Emergency Board. The letter urged the White House to follow precedent and appoint credible people to the Presidential Emergency Board tasked with arbitrating the current rail labor disputes. On July 17, President Biden ultimately followed precedent and named several credible members to the emergency board. Biden named Ira Jaffe, who has been involved in labor and employment arbitration cases for more than four decades and chaired or served on five other emergency boards, to chair the board; along with Boston College Professor David Twomey, and Barbara C. Deinhardt, an independent arbitrator who has served as chair of the New York State Employment Relations Board.

Read the Washington Update on our website

REMSA Innovation Award

Only a few weeks remain to nominate for the first REMSA Innovation Award. This award seeks to honor organization achievement of an innovative solution, product, or piece of equipment that better serves previous methods of completing a similar task within the railroad maintenance-of-way industry.

The nomination company must be a REMSA member in good standing. Companies may nominate their own product, or another company's product that they use. Nominations are due by August 5, 2022.  

Learn more and apply

For questions on this program, please contact Trade Shows & Marketing Manager Heidi Baker.

Member of the Month

Merv Lewis

Railroad Specialist, Rental & Sales, Western States Equipment Co.

How did you get started in the rail industry?

I have been in the construction industry for over 40 years, many of those years with Western States Cat as a technician and a Cat Rental Store manager. During that time I was exposed many times to the rail industry. Several of my family members have either worked with or for the railroads and trains have always fascinated me. About ten years ago, Western States Cat started working with several local railroads and out of that relationship I helped to form Western States Railroad Solutions, a full division of the company dedicated solely to serving the railroad industry.

What do you love most about your job/the rail industry?

That is an easy question to answer: the people. From the largest and smallest railroads to the contractors who work with them, the people are unique. Those who are in this business are passionate folks, proud of what they do, and are hard-working. Over the years I have worked in many industries, and I appreciate each one of them, however the railroad industry is my favorite because of the people. I very much appreciate every opportunity to visit with those who serve this industry and learn about what they do. 

What do you find yourself doing most in your downtime? 

Most of my off time is dedicated to my wife, kids, and grandkids. Between remodeling projects, staying involved with my children, of whom I am extremely proud, Boy Scouts, gymnastics, ballet, and pulling an occasional tooth, my life is very full. I enjoy 4-wheeling and golfing when time allows.  

How do you define the “future” of rail? Where do you think the industry is headed?

The rail business will always be a vast part of moving goods economically and efficiently. Things like finding alternative power sources and environmental stewardship are top-of-mind as we look into the future of the industry. However, innovations and partnerships regarding safety, product improvements and efficiency will continue to remain at the heart of driving our business forward day by day.

What do you enjoy most about being part of REMSA?

REMSA is a great resource for our company, from trade shows to networking and support. We very much appreciate the REMSA staff and resources. 

Anything else you would like to add/share?

I have always been a history buff, so working with the railroads and continuing to learn about them and their heritage has been rewarding. Having this rich history to draw on is an inspiration to me. When faced with a challenge I think about the engineers and workers who, over 100 years ago, forged accurate tunnels through miles of mountain ranges - when I can't even draw a straight line! Teamwork, determination and innovation have overcome obstacles throughout the history of the railroad and the same still holds true today.


Interested in being featured in an upcoming Mainline and on REMSA's social media? REMSA is looking for members to feature as the member of the month! Whether you are a seasoned railroader or new to the industry, REMSA will share your story and recognize your company across our digital channels. Email Trade Shows & Marketing Manager Heidi Baker at to apply today.

REMSA Grassroots Program

Learn more about grassroots events

REMSA's Grassroots Program connects our association's membership with members of Congress to host tours and site visits of company facilities and ongoing projects. It's a terrific way to showcase the positive impact that your company has in the local community, while also building strong personal relationships with your elected representatives. This program highlights REMSA members' products and services throughout the industry and to members of Congress, which helps to advance REMSA's legislative agenda in Washington.

If you are interested in hosting a grassroots event at your facility please reach out to Mike McGonagle at

Save the Date! 

NRC 2023 Conference & NRC REMSA Exhibition will take place January 4-7, 2023 in Boca Raton, Florida.

Exhibitor and conference registration will open in early August. 

More information

Member News

REMSA member company RailPros featured in rail supplier news (Progressive Railroading)  

REMSA member company Koppers featured in rail supplier news (Progressive Railroading)

Industry News

Amtrak Elevating Harris, Williams; Naparstek Retiring (Railway Age) 

NS kicks off new operating plan (Progressive Railroading)

Biden names board to help end freight railroad and union contract disputes (Reuters)

Construction begins on future rail-served commerce center at Little Rock port (Progressive Railroading)

ASLRRA names 2022 Jake Safety Award winners (Railway Age)

In Memoriam: Ronald L. McDaniel 

REMSA mourns the passing of former REMSA Chairman Ron McDaniel. An iconic figure in the railroad and railway supply community, he died June 23, 2022. He was 83.

Ronald McDaniel

Advertise with REMSA

Highlight your company with a banner or tile ad on the REMSA website and broaden your audience. Ads will appear at and run starting with three-month terms. REMSA members enjoy the member-rate to advertise. 

Learn more

Contact us

If you have any member news, industry tips, questions or comments, please share with us: 


Phone: (202) 844-6026

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